Noob vs Jita (Questions about Station Trading)

Hi everyone!

I’m a new player, I made my first character three weeks ago. One of the things I wanted to try in Eve was to become a station trader, mostly for two reasons:

  1. I’ve never done that before, and I wanted to try and play “Wolf of Wall Street”
  2. From what I’ve read, it’s a way to make ISK, which is nice

After gaining some money, I made an alt in Jita and sent him 10 million. After two weeks I sat at 80 million. Probably not that amazing, but considering most of the time I was trading 1-2 items at a time in a chill way to figure things out, I can’t really say Jita treated this noob badly.

Still, I am finding myself realizing I am probably not doing this right (or as right as I could) and because of this, I’d like to ask you mighty veterans for advice.

First of all, what kind of item should I trade? Of course, I’m not asking for specific items, but it seems like there are set profile for items:
-There are the stable high margin (50% and above), high volume (thousands per day), low value items, which helped me build profit at first, but the more I make the more I realize the profite is really small (for example: I buy 100 of them at 2000 and sell them at 5000, great volume and margin but it nets me only 300k).
-There are the high margin, low volume, somewhat high value items, which might make me some big money, but might also take days to buy and sell and the margin might go down a little during that time.
-There are the lower margin (15%-30%) high value items, that are usually traded at higher volume compared to the profiles above, but there is waay more competition and I’d have to invest a lot of money to get a profit (I still feel uneasy putting 10 million in escrow to gain 1 million), and even then, It might take me days to clear the whole stock. Am I right to feel uneasy, or are these the best items to trade anyway and I should not care at all?
-Then there are the freaks, like items with huge margin and value and relatively high trading rates, but with freakish price history and medians that are all over the place or very very close to the sell or buy price. Knowing the burger method (which tells me to look for a median between the two values), I assumed these were a trap and just ignored them. Was I too wary? Is it possible that even when the median is equal to the buy order price there are still enough people buying from sell orders to make trying that route worthwile?

As you probably guessed, I’m an alpha clone, so I can’t really reduce fees and taxes by much (I only have Broker Relations at 2 or 3), and I only have 17 orders at my disposal, which means I have to pick and choose what I’m trading and probably select only the things that will net me a big profit.

My big questions are: Are the profiles shown above somewhat accurate? Is there profile that you believe works best and I should focus my orders on? Should I accept even smaller profits and maybe create even more alts in the same place to have more orders?

Also, after trying in Dodixie with my main account and finding it too slow to work, I just assumed Jita would have been the best place to be. Was this a good idea? I’ve read older posts that said something about smaller hubs being better. Is it true? If yes, what kind of hub should I be looking for (central hubs for other factions or even smaller)?

Also, as a last small question, do you know which is the peak time for the game? Maybe I should play around that when trading

I’d like to thank you in advance for answering all these questions that might be very silly, and also thank you for reading this wall of text.

Not a station trader, but I can give you my perspective. Jita/Perimeter is the place you want to be especially for the high value items, as those are often not traded (in acceptable volume) elsewhere, with exceptions. Amarr is second, you should consider and compare prices and volume.

My main strategies are

  1. manufacture stuff at Jita buy or below, sell in Jita or Amarr (may not be available to Alphas)
  2. import/export cheap stuff, sell higher at target location (regional trade)
  3. event item and general patch speculations

In total I’m usually dealing with <10 items at a time, rotating on demand. My profit thresholds are ~50% margin and ~200M per 24h jobs, else I won’t bother. Building the stuff has the advantage that you don’t need to compete on the buyer side, which would be much harder than selling for consumables (modules, ships, charges, etc.).


Thanks for the info!

Sadly, there aren’t many skills I can train to improve manufacturing and it seems like materials might cost more than what I’d get from selling the ship.

Also, I still don’t understand whether alpha clones can research blueprints or not.

Anyway, I had been looking into trading, but never had the courage to do that. Now that I tried to explore lowsec and nullsec I realized that I’m not as vulnerable as I thought, so maybe I can try it.

Do you market by setting up buy orders and then bring them to Jita once they fill up and then putting them there as sell orders?


For my manufacturing jobs I usually multi-buy the source materials directly in Jita, ship it to the EC, and sell the results in Jita, sometimes dumping to buy orders, if setting up sell orders is not worth the broker fee and time to play the 0.01 ISK game.

Trade happens on price spreads, some stuff is cheap elsewhere and sold high in Jita, some stuff is cheap in Jita and can be sold for double elsewhere. Here I use off-shoring buy orders to save broker fees.

Wow! I didn’t realize you could do offshoring! It might be an options to trade with even smaller margins!

To try to answer your questions (in somewhat random order):

What’s the peak time for the game:

Are smaller hubs better: Smaller hubs are slower, typically less volume traded per day, if you compare item-for-item with Jita. This is worse if you’re looking at trading high-volume stuff (it doesn’t go as fast as you need it to), but might be better if you’re looking at trading high price stuff like PLEX (fewer people to underbid you).

As far as “what to trade”, it’s a complex question, and the market will NOT behave 100% like in RL because this is a game. The big difference is that there’s “perfect information” in EVE, whereas in RL such access to info would be called “insider trading.”

Basically, you have patch notes (CCP announces changes in advance), you have several weeks of play-testing on the test server (SiSi), where you can see the upcoming changes in high detail (spec sheets, every parameter, etc.), and all the items on the market are used within the rules of a game (if there’s an upcoming war in 0.0 between Pandemic Legion and Goonswarm, you can look up what ships they like to use and easily predict the future pricing on said ships, weapons, and associated fittings).

The market has a history view / graph view, where you can see the “normal” ups and downs for any item, and you can also see long-term trends, and finally you can see spikes (by date) that were the effect of patches.

So you can play the market in Jita and make your profit from the market’s heartbeat, so to speak, and you can also make huge profits by accurately predicting what items will be affected by CCP’s patches, by upcoming wars, etc. etc.

My item categories (what should I trade?) are as follows:

  • PLEX, injectors, extractors - high volume, and pricey, because they’re universally desirable.

  • event-related attribute boosters - these have an expiration date, and the deadline drives prices frantically, towards the end of the period. They are otherwise equivalent to skill injectors, and generally desirable.

  • ships - multiple sub-categories here: ships preferred by mission-runners, by explorers, by small-scale PVP’ers, large-scale war PVP’ers, etc. You need to know a little bit about the combat “meta” and flavors-of-the-month (what ships are considered “good”, “nerfed to oblivion”, etc.).

  • rare drops (officer loot, etc.). These are drops, and thus price depends on rarity, rather than performance. You need to know what’s good and what’s crap (but with similar names to the good stuff), and for that you need to know “why would someone pay hundred million ISK for only a 2% boost to performance.” PVP is where every last bit matters, and to give you an example, Recons (Tech 2 cruisers) give long range bonuses to warp disruptors, warp scramblers, and various forms of electronic warfare (energy neutralizers, ECM, etc.), and the difference between 60km and 72km can be huge in certain cases, esp. if you’re THE tackler or ewar guy in a small fleet. On the other hand, guns, 2% extra DPS may matter, but in most cases you’re in a fleet and your guns’ DPS meters get drowned out by all your friends’ weapons, so hundred million extra for 2%… not worth it.

  • materials, ore, minerals, salvage mats - these get used in huge quantities by everyone who is into industry, and the sheer volume traded can make for nice profits, esp. if you can predict upcoming changes. As an example, CCP is currently releasing various versions of upwell structures, and they’re doing it by releasing blueprints to players. People accumulate the materials to build these things as soon as details are announced on SiSi or in patch notes, and you can make a profit from selling those materials to the late-comers (or uninformed) once the patch hits. Because as soon as the patch hits, whoever produces these stations that everyone wants will make a huge profit, and the mats required to produce these stations will see a huge spike.

Whoah, that’s more information than I could hope for! Especially the stuff about items to trade.

In particular, I noticed there are good margins in some t2 ships, but I didn’t have the courage to invest because the volume seems really slow.

First of all, thanks for the peak time info!

Second, as of now I had mostly focused on day to day trading more than speculation, exploiting differences between buy and sell orders, while you are talking about price variation during time, right? Is it only long term or also during the day?

I hadn’t tried doing that because I realized I still don’t know much about the game, but I’m trying to understand that by looking at why some items have great margins and others don’t.

I see. I thought that smaller hubs would have been better for higher volume items because I could find a higher margin, while in Jita items with naturally high margin would have been traded enough to be worth it.
Considering you are talking about PLEXes, which have a really small difference, makes me think you are talking about exploiting price fluctuations in time.
Otherwise I can’t see how you could profit from it. As an Alpha Clone I have 2.7% broker fees and 2% sales taxes, which put together means I would break even at a marginof 7.4%, right? I think Skill injectors and PLEXes ave a way smaller margin than that.

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